Although it can be helpful to know your dosha-type and consequently follow a dosha-appropriate diet, this is not always a surefire way to find balance. In fact, more often than not, the answer is not so black and white. For example, many individuals may be one dosha-type, but instead have a different dosha that is currently out of balance (e.g. a Kapha-type that has a strong Vata imbalance). Alternatively, you may simply have all three doshas that are very strong and influential in your constitution. Further, you may even find yourself out of balance with all three doshas at the same time. . . Yes, it can all get quite complex, confusing, and overwhelming, but have no fear! By favoring mostly tridoshic* food choices and adhering to these universal dietary guidelines, you can improve your health and balance your imbalances without making your head spin. Hooray!
*If you have not heard of the word “tridoshic” before, this simply means that it is suitable for all three doshas (i.e. Vata, Pitta, Kapha), meaning universally balancing and suitable for all body types, no matter your age, weight, level of health, etc.
Important Note – Please Read!
One very important fact that I must mention, is that this list, and all general food lists, are meant to be guidelines, not defined rules that must be always followed. Even in the world of tridoshic recommendations, there may be foods listed that are not suitable for you as an individual. For example, you may see red lentils on the list but they give you gas and bloating; or you may see chicken on the list, but you are a vegetarian; or you may see egg whites on the list but you have an egg intolerance.
Let’s not make things any more complicated than they need to be. If something does not work for you, throw it away. If something very obviously does work for you (even if it is not on the list), hold it dear, at least until it does not serve you anymore.
The best advice is to clear your mind and use full awareness. Eventually you will figure out your own personal food lists, although it may take a little time and effort, and a lot of trial and error. Until then, let these suggestions help guide you; the more in balance you become (by following lists like these), the more in tune you will be to discover your unique needs!
Tridoshic Food Guidelines
- Eat all food (snacks included) before 6 to 7 pm
- Make lunch your largest, most nourishing meal; make dinner your lightest meal
- Wait 3 to 6 hours hours to ensure full digestion before taking in more food; remember, the larger (and heavier) the meal, the longer you will need to wait to eat again
- Eat a wide variety of colors in your diet, this will ensure a wide variety of nutrients for you!
- Eat at least 30 different plant foods (including spices) in your diet each week, this ensures a variety of nutrients, but also promotes a healthy, rich, and diverse microbiome
- Eat sitting down, in a peaceful, comfortable environment
- Chew each bite of food thoroughly
- Spice up your meals with tridoshic spices such as turmeric, fresh ginger, fennel, coriander, cumin, and cardamom
- Favor meals rich in lean protein and fiber in order to keep your appetite, energy, and blood sugar sustained between meals
- Favor whole foods, fresh foods, and home-cooked meals
- Favor whole foods sources over supplements
- Eat with the season; favor local, fresh foods when possible
- Begin each morning with a warm-hot cup of water
- Drink CCF tea or fresh ginger tea between meals to aid in digestion
- Take Triphala Churna before bed each night (find out the best ways to take Triphala here!)
- Avoid improper food combinations
- Avoid grazing
- Avoid snacking between meals (some exceptions apply to this “universal” rule, find healthy snacking tips here)
- Avoid processed foods
- Avoids foods with additives, preservatives, dyes, trans fats, and other weird things
- Avoid GMOs and foods treated with harmful pesticides
- Avoiding extremes such as extremes in tastes (excessively hot, spicy, sweet, etc) and extremes in qualities (too much light, heavy, cold, raw, or dry)
- Avoid leftovers (especially after 1 to 2 days), old food, and stale food
- Avoid overeating; ideally your stomach should still have about ⅓ of its room available for digestion to occur
- Avoid cold, raw foods in winter and hot, spicy foods in summer
- Avoid over supplementation; favor whole foods!
- Avoid laying down or sleeping after food
- Avoid drinking iced water or beverages; favor warm to hot water
- Avoid drinking water or beverages directly before, during, or after a meal
*Denotes a food that should be eaten in small amounts only.
- Classic Cleansing Kitchari
- Fall Kitchari Recipe
- Tridoshic Mung Dal and Quinoa Kitchari
- Tridoshic Red Lentil Dal
- Deliciously Vibrant Chana and Mung Dal
- Tridoshic Quinoa and Veggie Stir-Fry
- Breakfast Kitchari Recipe
- Tridoshic Cream of Quinoa Porridge
- Simply Spiced Quinoa Porridge
- Golden Energy Buckwheat Breakfast
- Springtime Breakfast Scramble
- Savory Pumpkin Soup
- Curried Coconut and Veggie Soup
- Savory Pumpkin Soup
- Simply Steamed Veggie Recipe
- Golden Spiced Sweet Lassi
- Caffeine-Free Rooibos Chai Recipe
- The Essential Almond Milk Recipe
- Amazingly Addictive Homemade Hemp Milk
- Ojas-Increasing Energy Balls
- Super Veggie Broth Recipe